See OHL game summary here.
IN THE NEWS
From SLAM! Sports, Knights blank 67's. From the LFP, Jim Cressman writes Coleman starts a shutout streak. And from the Ottawa Sun, Barre Campbell writes Knight-mare on Bank St. A quote:
"For two periods it looked like we had some interest, but in the third we lost interest," said 67's coach Brian Kilrea. "We wanted to see why they were so good, and we stood around and watched them. Now we know."
The game was broadcast on radio only (TEAM 1200/Dave Schreiber and AJ Jakubec).
Some notes from the pre-game interview with Killer. On the game vs Saginaw: He thinks that the boys were looking too far ahead (for London game). He says that you need to have respect for every team you play. On today’s game vs London: They’re the best team in the league. This year is their opportunity to go for it all, so he can understand why they felt the need to make trades. They’re good on the PP, and also 5-on-5. On injured players: McGinn will be back for the game, and is hoping that Battochio is on the road to recovery.
Forwards: Akeson, Talbot, Hulit (started); Lawrance, Bonello, Mancari; Bickell, Petruzalek, Kaspar; VanderVeeken, McGinn, Alphonso.
Defensive pairings: Colbert, Staubitz; Van Herpt, Reid; Joslin, Jarram.
Starting in goal: Guadagnolo. Spezza on the bench.
Out: Beard (inj-shoulder), Ouellette (inj-mono), Battochio (inj-shoulder), and Lahey (inj-concussion).
This was the worst game I’ve seen in a long time. And no, it’s not because the 67s decided not to show up to the rink, but because IT WAS A BORING, TRAP, DUMP AND CHASE game. Here’s what happened of note:
The first period: No ref, so linesman Dagenais steps in to do both roles. It was 13:30 before the first penalty was called. 67s came out with energy (surprise!), forechecking and being physical, but the Knights keep the 67s out of their zone very effectively. London players dove a couple times, trying to draw a penalty. Talbot had some good chances, but no puck luck. Petruzalek took a penalty, and the Knights capitalized, scoring the first goal. Killer stopped putting out the Bickell/ Petruzalek/ Kaspar line. The VanderVeeken/ McGinn/ Alphonso line had one shift. A lot of the seats were empty for the first period, probably because there was no parking. (A sunny day means skaters on the canal, combined with a home renovation show at Lansdowne, combined with a hockey game = parking spots at a premium and a bitch to get into the parking lot from any entrance.)
The second period: The ref, Pearce, showed up for the beginning of the second period with all his equipment. Petruzalek was in the penalty box to start the period (his second penalty); they killed it off. Ottawa did get some, okay 2 or 3, chances, but not quality ones. Coleman was very good at rebound control. Schremp scored coming out of the penalty box; Guadagnolo was possibly screened by his defenceman. The Knights came away with another goal.
The third period: Once London scored the third, it was all over for the 67s – you could actually see them deflate. Poor Guadagnolo was left alone to handle the shot onslaught when the 67s gave up. It actually looked like he was being swarmed by the black sweaters. The 67s could not get past the line of Knights players standing just off centre; they could not get into the Knight’s offensive zone; they had poor puck control, etc. The Knights scored two more to make it 5-0.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE 67s
Well, considering they only had half of their forwards on the ice tonight – despite what the scorer’s sheet said – it could have been much worse. The Lawrance/ Bonello/ Mancari and Akeson/ Talbot/ Hulit lines were the only lines working. Bickell also worked hard, but he was pretty much on his own for most of the game. The two Czech players were mostly invisible. Talbot was definitely the best player for the 67s, playing with his characteristic steadiness.
Boneheads and/or invisibles - Petruzalek. Taking not one, but two stupid penalties when you know that London has a rocking PP = bonehead! Kaspar, I think was out there, though I couldn’t really tell. I mean, his name was listed on the scorer’s sheet anyways.
Staubitz had an okay night. He wasn’t perfect, but at least he made an impact by having energy, working hard on his shifts, and beating the crap out of Prust. Reid had a few good moments. Colbert - bah.
IMPRESSIONS OF THE KNIGHTS
A bunch of falling-on-the-ice cry-babies. No wonder C. Perry has the rep. Here’s London’s game strategy: Trap. Trap. Trap. Dump and Chase. Trap. Fall on the ice to draw a penalty. Go on the PP, explode offensively, and score. (Back to even strength) Trap. Trap. Trap. Dump and Chase. Play with it for awhile. Take some shots on the net. Trap. Trap. Dump and line change. Ad infinitum. BORING!!! I thought this team was skilled. Even though I expected Ottawa to lose (c’mon its OTTAWA vs LONDON), at least I was expecting to see some talented London plays. This is the team everyone has been ga-ga over all year. Nope. Utter crap. I want my 3 hours back. I mean, why would they need to trap OTTAWA? Ottawa has enough trouble getting out of their own/ into the offensive zone on the best of days . . . I don’t understand.
Some individual recognition:
Drummond. Speedy – zooming up the wing.
Coleman. Second straight shut-out. Great rebound control. (Understandable, when London traps all the time.)
Prust. Took quite the beating and still scored!
Girardi. Billy goat beard. Very steady in defence. Really enjoyed watching him control the puck, and get it out of his zone.
Rodney. It’s good to see him having such a great season. Great in his role, and scored too.
C. Perry. Wiley like a rat bastard. Falling-on-the-ice whiner. But, he’s good with the puck. And was able to skate right to the net, dodging around opposition players like they were standing still . . . Oh wait, THEY WERE STANDING STILL!!!
1, Hunter, (23) (Perry, Bolland), 14:29 (PP)
2, Schremp, (30) (Syvret), 18:40
3, Prust, (9) (Hunter, Perry), 05:35
3, Larman, (6) (Kell, Schremp), 07:02
3, Rodney, (13) (Beaulieu, Fritsche), 16:06
OHL three stars were, predictably, all from London: 1. D. Hunter, 2. Schremp, and 3. Coleman.
TEAM 1200 three stars were also all from London: 1. C. Perry, 2. Coleman, and 3. Fritsche.
Pearce/Dagenais. Terrible reffing and linesmaning – and it’s not surprising since Dagenais had to do both jobs for the first period.
9522. Not a sell-out, no matter how many times CJOH says it was.
1.26.2005 - Ottawa visits Belleville
1.28.2005 - Belleville visits Ottawa
1.29.2005 - Ottawa visits Kitchener (first match-up this season)
1.30.2005 - Ottawa visits Brampton (first match-up this season)
StatsGuy’s calling it right now: 0/4. I'm thinking, 1/4. I think that they'll win the Friday home game vs Belleville, maybe have a chance on the away game vs Belleville, but definitely tank on the two Western games.